Roundup time: Apple Watch reviews, broken down

It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for: Early Apple Watch reviews are here. The consensus is it’s not perfect, but has potential. Let’s jump in.

The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo says he “fell hard” for the Apple Watch, but only after three “often confusing and frustrating” days.

Unlike previous breakthrough Apple products, the Watch’s software requires a learning curve that may deter some people… Indeed, to a degree unusual for a new Apple device, the Watch is not suited for tech novices.

But if you’re a self-proclaimed smartphone addict, as Manjoo is…

By notifying me of digital events as soon as they happened, and letting me act on them instantly, without having to fumble for my phone, the Watch became something like a natural extension of my body — a direct link, in a way that I’ve never felt before, from the digital world to my brain. The effect was so powerful that people who’ve previously commented on my addiction to my smartphone started noticing a change in my behavior; my wife told me that I seemed to be getting lost in my phone less than in the past.

The Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler similarly says the watch made him “more present” because he felt less compelled to reach for his phone.

What about the apps? Fowler called them “half-baked.”

Apps have been the biggest disappointment of my Apple Watch experience. Apple says more than 1,000 Watch apps have been submitted, but only about three dozen have been available to test. Aside from some apps that deliver fresh news headlines, including the Journal’s, as well as ones from the New York Times, CNN and Flipboard, not enough felt useful.

Yahoo’s David Pogue was more upbeat about the apps, finding value in the Camera app that allows the watch to be a remote screen for your smartphone’s camera; being able to display boarding pass bar codes on the watch using the Passbook app; and the Workout app.

But like other reviewers, Pogue wasn’t impressed with the watch’s battery life.

You won’t be wearing the watch at night (because it will be charging). That’s a much bigger problem than anybody seems to be acknowledging. For one thing, that fact makes the Apple Watch the only fitness tracker on the market that can’t track your sleep… For a device so thoroughly designed to help monitor your physical well-being, that omission is a heartbreaker.

Apple is known for its sleek, fashion-conscious product design. What about the watch’s looks? The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern has something to say about that.

After over a week of living with Apple’s latest gadget on my wrist, I realized the company isn’t just selling some wrist-worn computer, it’s selling good looks and coolness, with some bonus computer features.


Even when the watch face is off, the black sapphire-crystal screen looks elegant. It is unassuming until you start to tap at the screen and people take notice. One stranger told me she liked my watch, not even knowing it was the Apple Watch.

Still, Stern advises that people wait to buy one.

The body is bound to get thinner; the edges could stand to be less rounded… The Apple Watch makes you look good. But the next one is bound to make you look even better.

The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order April 10, and is expected to ship April 24.

Photo: Apple Watches on display during an Apple media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on March 9, 2015. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)


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  • Moshe Pipik

    article 5000 on the same exact crap.. please get original

  • WAM

    The stock is definitely broken down…look at how weak it is………………it is done! & headed to $50

    • Steve Hammill

      …without Steve Jobs, the inevitable happens.